Can a Condominium Association Levy Fines?

The Michigan Condominium Act provides that a default by a co-owner shall entitle the condominium association to certain types of relief, including "the levying of fines against co-owners after notice and hearing thereon and the imposition of late charges for nonpayment of assessments as provided in the condominium bylaws or rules and regulations of the condominium.

The key words are after notice and a hearing thereon and as provided in the condominium bylaws or rules and regulations.

After notice and a hearing means that an association must first give notice of an alleged violation to the co-owner and conduct a hearing BEFORE levying a fine.  So many times I see an associations first letter to a co-owner advising that a fine is being levied for a violation.  That fine is not enforceable because there was no notice or hearing before it was levied.

The condominium documents must contain a fines procedure.  Either the condominium bylaws must contain an article for the levying of fines, or, if the documents allow the board to adopt rules and regulations, the board must adopt a fines procedure in accordance with the provisions of the documents.  That fines procedure must provide a mechanism to give the co-owner notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity for a hearing before the fine is imposed.

The author has posted both a model fines procedure for an association to adopt and a fines complaint form to consider.  Note:  these documents are provided as an example and probably need to be customized for your particular circumstances.  Use at your own risk, or contact the author for assistance.  

© Steve Sowell 2018